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Love at First Sight in the Greek Novels and Bollywood Dr Regine May 1 st June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Love at First Sight in the Greek Novels and Bollywood Dr Regine May 1 st June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Love at First Sight in the Greek Novels and Bollywood Dr Regine May 1 st June 2012

2 Greek Novels Chaereas and Kallirhoe by Chariton of Aphrodisias An Ephesian Tale (or Anthia and Habrokomes) by Xenophon of Ephesus Leukippe and Kleitophon by Achilles Tatius Daphnis and Chloe by Longus An Ethiopian Story (Chariklea and Theagenes) by Heliodorus

3 Greek Novels: The General Plot Boy meets girl: love at first sight Couple gets separated Love for each other remains constant End: the couple lives happily ever after.

4 Bollywood Films: Sholay 1975 – “Curry Western” Mughal-E-Azam 1960 – Historical Epic

5 Bollywood: The General Plot Boy meets girl: love at first sight Couple gets separated Love for each other remains constant End: the couple lives happily ever after.

6 Escapism & Exotic Locations Greek Novels: Athens, Sicily, Egypt, Aethiopia, Persia, Mediterranean

7 Greek Novel: Ekphrasis Heliodorus, Aethiopian Story … they brought various gifts, including a specimen of an unusual and bizarre kind of animal: in size it stood as tall as a camel, buts hide as marked with garish leopard spots. Its hindquarters and rear parts were squat and leonine, but its withers, forelegs, and chest were disproportionately taller than the rest of its anatomy. Notwithstanding the bulk of the rest of its body, its neck was as slender and elongated as the crop of a swan. In appearance its head was like a camel’s, in size not quite twice that of a Libyan ostrich. Its eyes were rimmed with a black line like mascara and darted hither and thither with an expression of pompous disdain. Even its method of locomotion was unique, since it rolled from side to side like a ship at sea, in a manner quite unlike any other creature, terrestrial or aquatic: it did not advance each of its legs individually, in rotation, but its two right legs moved forward in unison, separately from the two left legs, which also functioned as a distinct pair, thus leaving each side of its body in turn without support. It was so halting in its gait and so docile in its temperament that its keeper could lead it on a slender cord wound around its neck, and it obeyed the directions of his will as if it were a chain that brooked no disobedience.

8 Escapism & Exotic Locations Song sequences: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham 2001 From Chandni Chowk to Egypt... and back

9 Inset Tales Aaja Nachle 2007 (inset tale: Layla & Majnun) Devdas 2002 (inset tales in song sequences: Krishna & Radha for the songs Bairi Piya and Kaahe Chhed Mohe)

10 Inset Tales Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 1.27 (one of 3 myths reflecting and commenting on the love story) One day, a wood pigeon pleased them by singing a pastoral song from the wood. When Chloe wanted to know what its song meant, Daphnis taught her, telling her a story that had often been told. “There was a young girl, young girl, as beautiful as you are; and she had a herd, like you, keeping many cows in a wood. She was a beautiful singer too, and her cows enjoyed her singing. She managed her herd without hitting them with a stick or prodding them with a goad; sitting under a pine and garlanded with pine, she sang the story of Pan and Pitys, and the cows stayed close to hear her voice. There was a boy who kept a herd of cows not far away…

11 Social Status and Caste Devdas 2002: Devdas = zamindar; Paro’s mother = dancing girl Veer Zaara 2004: Veer = Sikh brought up by Indian Hindus; Zaara brought up by strict Muslim Pakistanis

12 Social Status I Longus 3.25: Chloe has higher status than Daphnis This summer, there were a great number of suitors after Chloe; many of them, from many different places, visited Dryas, asking to marry her; some brought a present with them; others promised big presents if they won her. Nape was buoyed up by hopes; her advice was to give Chloe away and not to keep a girl of her age at home. […] they should make her mistress of a house and make a good deal of money themselves and keep it for their own real son. […] Dryas was sometimes attracted by these arguments; for gifts were being named by each of the suitors that were greater than one would expect for a shepherd girl.

13 Social Status II Longus 4.23 [Daphnis and Chloe are foundlings brought up together and very much in love. Believed to be slaves, but then Daphnis is recognised as the master’s long lost son] They all started throwing their arms around him, kissing him, happy and weeping at once. But he embraced his father and mother before the others; he held them to his breast and was unwilling to leave their arms as if he had known the truth for a long time. So quickly can nature win our trust! He even forgot about Chloe for a moment.

14 Love at First Sight: Chariton 1.1 [During a public festival for Aphrodite, the goddess of love] Now, chance would have it that at the corner of a narrow street the two walked straight into each other; the god had contrived the meeting so that each should see the other. At once they were both smitten with love … beauty had met nobility. Chaereas, so stricken, could barely make his way home; he was like a hero mortally wounded in battle, too proud to fall but too weak to stand. The girl [Kallirhoe], for her part, fell at Aphrodite’s feet and kissed them. “Mistress,” she cried “give me the man you showed me for my husband!”

15 Love at First Sight: Xenophon of Ephesus 1.3 [after a public festival for Artemis, the patron goddess of the city] And so when the procession was over, the whole crowd went into the temple for the sacrifice, and the files broke up; men and women and girls and boys came together. Then they saw each other, and Anthia was captivated by Habrokomes, while Love got the better of Habrokomes. He kept looking at the girl and in spite of himself could not take his eyes off her. Love held him fast and pressed home his attack. And Anthia too was in a bad way, as she let his appearance sink in, with rapt attention and eyes wide open…

16 Love at First Sight: Heliodorus 3.5 For at the moment when they [Theagenes and Charikleia] set eyes on one another, the young pair fell in love, as if the soul recognised its kin at the very first encounter and sped to meet that which was worthily its own. For a brief second full of emotion they stood motionless; then slowly, so slowly, she handed him the torch and he took it from her, and all the while they gazed hard into one another’s eyes, as if calling to mind a previous acquaintance or meeting. Then they smiled a fleeting, furtive smile, discernible only as a slight softening of their expressions. And then they blushed, as if they were embarrassed at what had occurred…

17 His Love at First Sight Veer rescues Zaara from the abyss (she is not looking at him)

18 His Love at First Sight Rahul falls in love with Anjali at first sight. Anjali thinks he is either her cousin’s fiancé or out to steal her shop…

19 His Love at First Sight: Main Hoon Na 2001 The new Chemistry teacher walks into the school… …and Ram hears violins whenever he sees her

20 Love at First Sight (for Kleitophon) Achilles Tatius 1.4 [Kleitophon narrates how he first sees Leukippe] While I was directing my attention to her [i.e. Leukippe’s mother], there appeared on her left a young maiden. Her face flashed on my eyes like lightning. […] delightfully animated yes; light blond hair – blond and curly; black eyebrows – jet black; white cheeks – a white that glowed to red in the center like the crimson laid on ivory by Lydian craftswomen. Her mouth was a rose caught at the moment when it begins to part its petal lips. As soon as I had seen her, I was lost. [he contrives to have Leukippe overhear a discussion he has with a slave friend on the nature of love] Achilles Tatius 1.19 I was looking at the young lady [Leukippe] to see how she reacted to my lesson on love. She discreetly indicated that she had not been displeased by my discourse. The radiant beauty of the peacock struck me less forcefully than that glance from Leukippe.

21 Love Rivals Chariton: Dionysios, the whole harem of the King of Persia Xenophon of Ephesus: pirates, robbers, everybody who sees the lovers Longus: various shepherds, intruders from the city, pirates Heliodorus: pirates, (ex-)friends, relatives, wives of high placed Egyptian officials

22 Love Triangles Devdas 2002: Devdas is torn between Parvati and Chandramukhi Lagaan 2001: Gauri and Elizabeth are rivals for Bhuvan’s heart

23 Nice Love Rivals Taal 1999: The not unsympathetic Vikrant Kapoor never manages to stop Mansi from loving Manav Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 1998: Once Anjali’s not unsympathetic fiancé realises that she is in love with her childhood sweetheart, he hands her over to him – during their wedding ceremony!

24 Love Rivals Mughal-E-Azam 1960: the jealous Bahar tries to destroy the love between Prince Salim and Anarkali

25 Love Rivals Devdas 2002: Parvati’s evil son-in-law makes indecent passes at her and offends Chandramukhi

26 Becoming an Adult Greek Chariton: Chareas turns from a young ephebe who cannot control his anger into a celebrated general

27 Becoming a Responsible Householder Falling in love means growing up for Prince Salim, Raj and Rahul – through love, travel, and occasionally war.

28 Reaffirming Indian Identity Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham 2001: Anjali falls for the hero once he wears Indian clothes…...while her younger sister (temporarily) loses her Indian identity and her niceness in her London exile…

29 Reaffirming Indian Identity … but everything is all right in the end: the girls wear saris & shalwar kameez for the family photo

30 Arranged Marriages Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham 2001: Anjali’s cousin has a very happy arranged marriage

31 Ancient Greek Novels to modern Bollywood Separate Journeys Different languages Unique cultures Diverse media One story. A human story. A story of Love


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